We’re still not back to normal after a tumultuous two years. However, as we emerge from the uncertainty, we see organisations transitioning out of crisis mode and returning to long-term planning with a solid eye on the future. I’d like to give two personal technological developments about 2022.
In 2022, I expect both the public and private sectors to increase investment in renewable energy infrastructure, including microgrids.
Australia has lagged behind other countries in terms of electrification in recent years. From both a political and general public standpoint, it has been assumed that EVs are not being accepted in Australia due to range limitations and lengthy distances. However, the reverse is true: Australia is ideally adapted to EVs, not only because we have access to a large amount of renewable energy (mostly solar) to offer cheap and quickly deployable recharging network technological developments, but also because EVs make a lot of sense in many important Australian sectors.
For example, electric vehicles (EVs) such as mining trucks are not only safer, particularly in subterranean environments, but also much less expensive to operate since they have fewer mechanical parts that wear out in tough conditions. Many mines in Australia are isolated, and they have already planned for microgrids, as well as their own renewable energy plant and storage batteries to meet their demands. It makes perfect sense to use EVs. Forestry and farming equipment are both classified as “equipment.” As a result, I anticipate that electric cars will become the focus of attention and investment for individuals, major fleet organisations, agriculture, and the mining industry.
Australia’s space sector is thriving, and I anticipate it to do so in 2022. Investments in space systems (including defence) will continue to rise, fueling the demand for sophisticated software in fields such as sensor fusion, advanced control design, code generation, and robotics, among others.
Australia has a lengthy history of space exploration, dating back to the Apollo missions. The establishment of the Australian Space Agency in 2018 and the government funding (while modest in comparison to other major space nations) sent the right signal to tech entrepreneurs that they could invest with less risk, leveraging government funding and support as well as long-standing connections with NASA, ESA, and JSA to access international projects and funding. The government-funded CRC system is also a solid financial foundation for connecting industry and research in Australia.
Micro rocket and microsat technology advancements, as well as access to low-cost hardware, have made an entrance into this market viable at a significantly lower initial cost. Similarly, technological developments in AI, robotics, and autonomous systems at a cheaper cost make it simpler for start-ups to design solutions that can compete with large multinational corporations.
Australian institutions educate some of the world’s greatest engineers and have a long history of space exploration. Rocketry teams from Australian colleges routinely win international tournaments and set world records. Aside from well-trained graduate engineers eager to join fast-growing startups, there is also a strong base of research engineers from Defence DSTG, defence contractors, and telecom engineers making the transition into the space startup world by leveraging their engineering experience and network of future potential customers.